Groundhog day: Leaflet for Software Patents

Ciarán O'Riordan ciaran at
Fri May 18 09:49:43 UTC 2012

> Innovation is the point of software freedom

Well, let's look at who judges our software:

Who will judge if we have developed software that we want?  We will.  We
use our software and it either does what we want, or we change it or
file bug reports (or complain on slashdot and other forums we created).

Who will judge if we have developed innovative software?  The patent
office.  Or, if the patent office ignores software, then no one will
judge if our software is innovative.  If innovation was important to us,
and no one was examining our software for innovation, then FSFE would
have to hire someone to monitor how innovative free software is.  But
they won't, because it's not important.  Clearly innovation was never
the point.

Put another way: Are we happy when we have innovative software that
doesn't do what we want?  No.  Are we happy when we have non-innovative
software that does do what we want?  Yes.  (Example: a free clone of an
existing proprietary package.)

All things being equal, scientific progress is good, and it will happen,
but it's a side effect, not our primary goal.

Ciarán O'Riordan
+32 (0) 485 118 029

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